Combustion Based Energy Systems

Combustion-based energy systems are used to operate a wide variety of mobile and stationary engines. In Switzerland, industrial companies develop and manufacture in particular large internal combustion engines for heavy goods vehicles, cargo ships, construction machinery, cranes and tractors, as well as gas turbines and motors for generating electricity. For all these applications, high energy density and the storage capacity of the chemical energy carriers used in the process are decisive advantages.

Fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel remain the primary energy sources worldwide today. In the future, however, fuels will be used whose greenhouse gas emissions are minimal over the entire life cycle. For this reason, combustion research conducted at universities and in industry is focusing on biogenic and synthetic chemical energy sources. Research is also being conducted into enhancing energy efficiency and avoiding emissions of pollutants from combustion systems.

Research priorities for 2021 to 2024

Combustion is a highly complex thermochemical process that has to be researched and understood at great depth, especially for the development of new types of fuels. The main objectives of the SFOE’s research programmes are high efficiency and minimal emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants over the entire life cycle.

Tendering procedure

The SFOE promotes subsidiary research projects in line with the priority research themes for 2021 to 2024 mentioned above. The main focus is on application-oriented and development-related research projects. Market-oriented developments of innovative solutions are supported through the SFOE’s “Pilot and Demonstration” programme. Further information and documents are available on the “Research programmes” page. Please contact the programme head before submitting an application.

Results of combustion research

The SFOE attaches high importance to the broad publication of research results. The reports of the projects promoted by the SFOE can be downloaded, including the publication lists on the federal government’s “ARAMIS” database. Further details are available under the “Links” tab.

Conference on combustion research in Switzerland

This conference is a showcase and an important networking opportunity for the Swiss combustion research community. It is organised by the SFOE every two years at the ETH Zurich in collaboration with research partners from the Swiss federal institutes of technology and universities. The aim is to share information on current challenges in combustion technology and the latest results from academia and industry. The next event is scheduled to take place in 2023.

Documentation on previous events can be downloaded in the “Documents” tab.

National and international cooperation

Researchers in combustion-based energy systems in Switzerland work within a close network. This can be seen in the collaboration on joint projects between universities, research institutes and R&D divisions in industry. The research results are internationally recognised and the products of Switzerland’s combustion industry are marketed worldwide.

Swiss players encourage information sharing in many national and international organisations. The SFOE supports participation in the Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs) of the International Energy Agency, for example in the “TCP on Clean and Efficient Combustion” and the “TCP on Advanced Motor Fuels”. A major partner in the co-financing of Swiss university institutes’ participation in international research projects is the German Research Association for Combustion Engines (FVV).

A selection of the websites of external organisations is listed in the “Links” tab.


Selected SFOE reports on research projects

Reports and articles on SFOE research projects

Selected SFOE specialised articles

Conference on combustion research in Switzerland

Last modification 20.04.2021

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Head of Programme

Stephan Renz

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